Those Sudden Changes

One day he calls. He’s as nice as can be and engages in friendly conversation. I’m civil, but I learned long ago not to read anything positive or hopeful into such behavior. I have no desire to linger, but I’m not rude. Sometimes it helps to leave him in a good mood. My daughter might benefit from it, when she has to be with him tomorrow. For her, I’ll play along. The very next day he appears at my door. Knocks once, and steps in, not even waiting for me to answer. I look at his face. His eyes are shiny, almost wet, his face is red. He’s not drunk. No, it’s not that. I can feel it. There’s that familiar rage, the one I know so well. It’s just underneath the surface waiting for the slightest excuse to explode onto the scene. He cannot hold it. He asks if she’s ready. Well, almost…he’s early. He immediately starts yelling. He needs her to be ready when he says he’s going to be here. His hand is jabbing at the air as he speaks. He’s daring me to a fight. I point out he’s early. He immediately argues, like he’s pained … Continue reading

What was I thinking?

By Learning2Swim What was I thinking? “What do you do when you’re in a relationship with someone who’s always right?” This is the question I asked of a friend of mine when I was dating my NPD. It was not a criticism of the woman I was dating, rather, it was praise. I actually believed that she was always right. She was so good that even though I observed the pattern of “outcomes” from our disagreements, and further, even though I observed the unlikely nature of her perfection, I still believed it. She had me from the beginning. When an outsider sees the details of an abusive marriage they often wonder how the submissive partner would ever choose to be in a relationship like that. On some level, they ask themselves, “How could they be so stupid?” The usual answer is that the aggressive partner is not always that way, or at least did not used to be that way. “They used to be so wonderful and charming.” In my case, and I think probably in most cases—even those that rationalize with the above explanation—this is not true. It is true that my NPD is not always demonstrating manipulative, dishonest, … Continue reading